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Having a moan aboout an airline

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Mosaic | 08:52 Tue 12th Jul 2011 | Travel
5 Answers
After a long wrangle I got me and the present OH's 'ash cloud' money back off KLM, plus a £100 voucher.

Come to spend the coucher on a nifty flight to Amsterdam:

The code can't be entered online so you have to phone 'customer care'

They charge you the full amount, send e-tickets and tell you to send in a scan of the voucher which will then be refunded to credit card

This hasn't happened after 4 weeks

Another call to customer care reveals they have the paperwork but have done nothing. Heidi has to wander away for 20 mins to check with someone.
'Oh and you should have been charged £13 booking fee'
'And the voucher is only useable against your name' - yes, I booked the tickets in my name - 'No, you can only use it for your own ticket'
The cost of the phone calls? 'There is a form on our website you can use to complain'

Which takes us right back to April 2010.....

At least Ryanair rip you off to your face.


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Your moan is echoed here. I got blatantly "bounced" off a connecting flight years ago with KLM - denied boarding and compensation due under EU law. Did they pay ? Did they hell, in all they gave me three reasons why I could not board and in the course of time I took this to the CAA people who enquired and got one change in explanation (version 3) and ended up telling me that they did not have enforcement powers so could do no more for me. A question was raised in the European Parliament where my case was among those cited - that disappeared into the fog. Then a while back I learned that the Netherlands had set up an enforcement office - presumably because KLM have given rise to an enormous number of howling complaints (their reputation on these matters is very poor indeed) and perhaps as a result of EU pressure (might my mention there have helped just a little ?). That office replied that my complaint was based on events that were too old ("timed out"). They, as all the other partiers I took my complaint to, pointed out that I can raise an action in my local court. KLM are among those airlines which rate particularly poorly, and you are correct, they are in a class with Ryanair when it comes to attitude toward their passengers. I have flown a lot since the event in question, including long haul, but never with KLM and I will not do so again either. The only dealings I will have with them in the future will be in court. One thing was that everyone (including KLM staff, incidentally) did say that I should insist on cash compensation and never let myself be fobbed off with a voucher (they offered me "a gift"). The trouble with vouchers is that the issuer (KLM) is entitled to dictate everything about them, including their real worth and all terms of their use - as you have now found out to your cost. Having had the due cash compensation, it might actually have been better to bin the voucher and fly cheaper with someone else, certainly free of the niggling unpleasantness that is bound to linger toward KLM.
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Interesting Karl.
BTW I got my full cash back plus this voucher...I might sound daft but I'm not entirely....!
I believe one of the problems is the EU Chair for Travel and Tourism, Brian Simpson MEP, who is completely dilatory and rushes so quickly to agree with the industry rather than the users that it makes you wonder about....well, stuff that would be litigious to write flights must be so useful though.
I emailed Simpson during the ash cloud crisis when KLM where fobbing everyone off, and it transpired he neither knew of nor understood the terms of EU/261/2004. And he certainly had no intention of doing owt. So if outfits like KLM get away with it at EU level who can blame them for carrying on?
But like you say so rightly----and just to repeat so the message gets embedded on the worldwide web ----DON'T FLY KLM THEY ARE RUBBISH !!!
Just to say that fawning toward business in general is very prevalent in UK circles, partly because there is a semi-religious belief that if we "allow business to flourish" then we will all reap abundant benefits (as opposed to sinking into the mud if business is required to meet standards set/held by others). This is why the UK has so much "self-regulation" rather than impartial regulation - with the consequece that very little restraint appears evident. Another reason for the fawning is that money talks - the current no.1 news story is evidence of that and I have to say I found it interesting (not surprising) that money bought supposedly privileged private information (irrespective of where from) which then grew into major profits through newspaper sales. The point to note is that credit rating agencies buy from the courts information which you and I cannot get no matter how much money we offer them (the courts). Did I hear you mention a cozy relationship ?
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Karl - so young, and yet so cynical......
A number of years ago I was on a car ferry that collided with an underwater obstruction whilst docking and started listing, having taken on water. Rather alarming for a number of passengers. As a result of the awkward angle the ship came in at it took a long time before the vehicle deck could be offloaded and as compensation I received via e-mail a code to redeem on line for a future crossing. Later that year, fancying a break I tried to make a booking with the aforementioned code. The website told me the code had already been used. So I booked with a different line instead and Stena have been in my bad books ever since.

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